It looks like the work of a drunkard or a bizarre inventor. Instead of being above the tracks, the train is underneath

@schwebebahn_ ferrovia al contrario

It looks like the work of a drunkard or a bizarre inventor. Everything is upside down. Instead of being above the tracks, the train is underneath. Could it have been a mistake or is it perhaps an art installation? Neither, but one thing is certain: this railway is unique.


# The train that has hung on the rails for 120 years

One might think that this is an avant-garde, ultra-modern engineering work, perhaps the turning point of the railway system: no longer trains that travel by land on the rails, but that move by air. Yet this railway is over 120 years old.
It is located in Germany, precisely in Wuppertal, near Dusseldorf, and every day it serves its inhabitants as if it were a subway. The line follows the River Wupper for 13.3 km (8.5 Miles) and 20 stops. It is called Wuppertal Schwebebahn and is a monument of industrial history that is unique in the world, as well as the most important means of transport in the city. In the past 120 years it has transported more than 1.5 billion people.

# Suspended 13 meters (14 yards) high

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The suspension railroad was designed by Eugen Langen and built in 1901. It travels on a single rail, to which the wagons are attached. The train is supported by a steel supporting frame and, to prevent oscillations, there is a safety bar on the frame. This device, very revolutionary at the time, allows the railway to move 13 meters (14 yards) overhead and at an average speed of 27 km/ h (about 16 Mph).

# The flight of the baby elephant

The Wuppertal Schwebebahn is the oldest elevated railway and with its 120 years of life it has many stories to tell. The most particular? When a baby elephant jumped off the train and came out unscathed.
In 1950, in fact, a circus, to advertise, brought a baby elephant on board the Wuppertal Schwebebahn. The animal, frightened and confused by the noises, smashed the window and ended up in the river making a dive of about 10 meters. From that moment on, not only was the railway a symbol of the city, but also “Dives” the small elephant remembered in a mural of the city.

# The imperial wagon tour

But not only. The Wuppertal Schwebebahn was declared a historic building by the German government in 1997, and protected as such, today it is also the tourist attraction of the city par excellence. Precisely because it is well appreciated by tourists, the company that manages it has decided to organize tours with the Kaiserwagen, the carriage in which Emperor Wilhelm II and his wife Auguste Viktoria took a test drive in 1900.